Last week, I wrote something for the First Things site, which is posted here. I’m still defending religious hiring rights against those (like Obama) who don’t think that religious freedom is compatible with government cooperation with faith-based groups.
Actually, I don’t know whether Obama actually believes this, but it’s the position his party has held ever since George W. Bush took office: government dollars must needs be secularizing dollars. And rest assured, Barack Obama wants more of those secularizing dollars out there.
Hence Acton’s Robert Sirico thinks that the faith-based initiative is--always has been--a bad idea. If, for Rev. Sirico, there’s a silver lining in Obama’s cloud, it is that perhaps some groups will stay away from those secularizing dollars. But the dollars--more of ’em--will still be there. And, unless I miss my bet, those dollars (secularizing or not) will be there regardless of who occupies the Oval Office.
For another version of Rev. Sirico’s argument, see this post by our friend Jordan Ballor.
Update: MOJ’s Tom Berg has the best brief account I’ve seen of the state of religious hiring rights, an account so nuanced and subtle as to make Harvard Law’s Martha Minow look like an ideologue by comparison.